Deciding on how many kids: Is there any rhyme or reason or is it all heart? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 10-29-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wisdom needed!  Been there done that needed!  I'm not sure either feedback much appreciated.

 

So did you listen to your head, heart, spirit, religious beliefs, friends, family, husband, etc. when it comes to your family size and are you happy with your decision overall?

 

I am just feeling stuck in fear of all the "I told you so" moments (mainly from my own mind and my mother) if we decide to have a 3rd child.  I know that we won't have any more kids until my man finds a stable job that would allow me to stay home and just teach online courses part-time (which I now do anyway as one of my jobs).  But I'm scared that as soon as he lands the great job and we see it is stable, my heart will say "ok, lets get this show on the road and make another sweet person to love and take care of us when we are old lol!"

 

I don't want to make the wrong choice about something so huge.  I love my kids so much and I don't want to mess anything up. Everyone (family and friends) seem to think its nuts to have more than 2 kids.  And I do like my personal time to just relax and unwind now that the kids are old enough to entertain themselves sometimes.  I loathe the 2-3 year old stages of tantrums and such.  My boys are both very spirited.  Also, my oldest son has autism so we have people looking at us saying "you were stupid to even roll the dice a second time" (even though our youngest does not have autism).   I'm very healthy and only 28 years old.  Just need some insight and perspectives to consider.


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#2 of 13 Old 10-29-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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For me, financial ability (at the time, and as forseeable as possible) and both parents' abilities to parent well are what matters for deciding to have another child. In my case, the answer was "no", and I had to make my peace with that. If it is likely that either parent will be overwhelmed with another child, then don't. There is also the general overpopulation of the planet to consider. Babies grow into adults, who want to have more babies. Can the world handle more? Something to think about.
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#3 of 13 Old 10-29-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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My DH and I went through the 3rd child debate earlier this year.  For us it was both heart and reason.  I have two siblings and DH has three.  Three has always been my mental image of what my family would look like and fortunately three is what we can afford.  DH would have totally been content with two at this point, we have a 3yr old and 21 month old.  However, due to our age 36, I really wanted to have a 3rd if that is what we decided.  So here I am about to deliver in three or so weeks.  I am really happy with our decision, albeit a little nervous having three kids three and under.  If you ask me in a month I may say "I don't know what the hell I was thinking"   but something about having this baby and completing our family makes me proud and ready to move to the next stage.  I look forward to introducing this LO to his siblings with my DH there, looking at everyone, and acknowledging that this is what our family will be.  We are all here.

 

It is a big deal and worth all the contemplation you need to decide if you want to add to your family.  Personally for me it was both heart and reason but there are plenty of people who completely go with their heart or religion.  As far as everyone else and their opinion on what your family size should be it is none of their business.  It was so strange, when I announced we were having another, many assumed it was by accident.  I mean why would you possibly want to have a third you have one of each already.  Go figure!


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#4 of 13 Old 10-29-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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I think there's a lot of us navigating those questions, these are questions that earlier generations didn't or couldn't really ask themselves.  It took us a long time to get to the point of even wanting one and now that I feel like the clock is ticking, I realized the one I thought was "enough" isn't, and he wants a sibling.  I don't blame him, I don't know what I'd do without my sister either, looking back.  However, my DH resisted for a good long while, for financial and personal reasons - he just doesn't like toddlers, when it comes down to it.  Me, I tend to think things will work out regardless and I was over the moon when he finally decided I was right, so we're trying for one more now.  ;)

 

So for us, family size was very much a decision of the heart for me and of the head for my DH.  To get those two to come together took a lot of work.  I wouldn't ever consider three, but that's just me.  And I don't want to move, I like our little house.  ;)  I will fully admit, I used to be one of those judgmental people that said "why isn't two enough for everyone", but that was before I became a mom and started becoming friends with other moms with larger families.  Watching them together made me get it.  It isn't for me, but now I get it and I can see past the number to the joyous, raucous, loving family they have.


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#5 of 13 Old 10-29-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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We have one but want two and will stop at two (unless second pregnancy is twins). We both grew up with 1 sibling each and enjoy that dynamic. We also think that sometimes three kids can develop the dynamic where two are close and the third one feels left out a bit. We've also thought about overpopulation and think two will replace us in the next generation without adding to the population. We don't want to have an only child if we can help it. We want two siblings who can rely on each other and share the load when it comes to taking care of us when we are elderly. Two works for us although DD is only 19 months old and I'm not pregnant with the second yet. These are our reasons. They may not ring true for everyone but they feel right for us.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-30-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In terms of overpopulation issues, there are multiple perspectives to consider on that issue and conflicting research on the long-term effects of lower or higher birthrates.  Nonetheless, we have considered adding a 3rd through domestic adoption or foster-to-adopt programs.  In some ways, I think my family would give me more "you're crazy" comments over that I think.


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#7 of 13 Old 11-02-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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For me the decision has always been between my husband, myself and God.  Family memebers, friends, strangers, everyone around you will have opinions on how many kids you should have.  Don't let it get to you.  When you know the decision is right for your family, you will be at peace with it.  It is such a personal choice and we really need to not judge others for the choices they have made / will make to have or not have another. 

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#8 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, that is exactly the advice I needed, that at some point I will have the answer and feel at peace with it.  That I can ponder the prospect of a 3rd for the next 5 years if I want and not be "crazy" for doing so, because that is where my intuition is leading me.  My mother and grandmother both had 2 kids and are always harping on how anyone who has more than two kids is "insane" or doing their kids a disservice, being selfish, etc.  My mom has boundary issues and is always giving her 2 cents.


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#9 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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Here's my thought - If you are wishing already that you will have another baby, you will likely regret not having another when all is said and done.  Will you look back 20 years from now and ever say "Boy, I sure regret having that third baby"?    Probably not.

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#10 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 07:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigellas View Post

Here's my thought - If you are wishing already that you will have another baby, you will likely regret not having another when all is said and done.  Will you look back 20 years from now and ever say "Boy, I sure regret having that third baby"?    Probably not.

Oh, I don't think you can dismiss the possibility of regret so easily. What if it causes a permanent breakup of her relationship with her mother? Disfunctional or not, our mothers generally have a certain pull on us emotionally. Or if causes irreconcilable difficulties in her marriage? And what about the general overpopulation problem? Does anyone care about that?

I wanted to either have no children or at least two children. Yes, I wanted more than two, so I do understand the desire. But it wasn't right to bring another child into a marriage that was having problems. I made the choice to be the best parent I was able to be to the one child I had. Do I regret *not* having more children? No. Honestly, I don't. If I had more children, I wouldn't be so close to being freed from parental responsibilities. I am able to give more of my energy on my third career. I had one before having a child; motherhood was my second career; and now I working to start a third, and it's exciting.

My point is -- some of the desire is biological, and when that passes, there is not a 'I missed my chance' feeling. At least not for me. I've begun menopause, and don't spend any time wishing I'd had other children.

I'm just trying to show you an older perspective. Maybe you should talk to older women who are no longer feeling the biological urge to have children to see how they feel, looking back. The thing is, once you've had a child, you'll love that child, and not be able to see how life could have been without the child. The same is true if you don't have a child. After a time, you can't imagine what you would have done if you had had another. At least for me. That's why I think you should talk to more older mothers. See if I'm the only one, or if it's generally the same for all.
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#11 of 13 Old 11-05-2012, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the different perspectives and advice, I think I am going to wait to even consider the possibility of another child until I feel like things are totally calm and smooth sailing with my other two (I often feel overwhelmed with my two very active sons, one who has special needs).  I am passionate about my work as a children's counselor and want to at least work part-time.  I don't know if I could do it all with another baby right now, so I guess the official answer is...wait and see...


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#12 of 13 Old 11-27-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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Ugh I am dealing with this too! DH is so done and we have 2. He really is done. I think I will learn to be okay with being done now but I think it will take time. We really get to spend lots of time with each kid and DH is ADHD and has diabetes. Both things can be passed down and I know dh's lifespan will be shorter than mine so there's the health aspect too. There are pros and cons to adding a third and I think the cons outweigh the pros in our case. That said, if a third were to happen, it would be terrifying but happy accident. I'm a stay at home mom and

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#13 of 13 Old 11-27-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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I am homeschooling probably until the kids are through middle school which means ill be out of the work force for a long time. No degree. I will probably need to take classes or something to get back in the game!!

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